Following the Obama administration's decision to postpone the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants in order to prioritize "convicted felons" and "public safety threats," right-wing media have reacted by resorting to fearmongering, inflammatory rhetoric, and falsehoods.
In his August 23 Washington Times column, Charles Hurt fearmongered over the Obama administration's new immigration policy prioritizing the deportation of criminals by claiming that "you can bet some of these illegals who had been headed for deportation will manage to sneak in a few votes. Maybe even enough to swing the election." Hurt further compared Obama to a "dictator currying favor by releasing political prisoners just before an 'election.' " From the Times:
The surest sign yet that President Obama will cashier his "hope" and "change" gimmicks from the last campaign in favor of a switchblade and brass knuckles for the next one was the stunning landmark decision he quietly made last week before hightailing it up to Martha's Vineyard for a trip to Luxuryville.
Like a dictator currying favor by releasing political prisoners just before an "election," Mr. Obama decided to reject the repeatedly expressed wishes of Congress and halt deportations of illegal immigrants.
[W]ith all the skeezy Election Day tactics we see with same-day registration and a refusal to require voters to actually prove they are legal residents who should be voting in the election, you can bet some of these illegals who had been headed for deportation will manage to sneak in a few votes.
Maybe even enough to swing the election.
In a May 31 Washington Times column, Charles Hurt wrote that Sarah Palin "is our modern Joan of Arc," but that "[u]nlike sister St. Joan, Sarah does not pass herself as a man. She can do any man's work, without ceding an ounce of her gas station pin-up babe good looks." Hurt further wrote: "But in most else, she shares with sister St. Joan. Driven by visions from God and destined for sainthood by way of a burning at the stake, Sarah is misunderstood here in her own lifetime."
Hurt went on to call President Obama "an academic silk-stocking gasbag whose only apparent talent seems to be talking."
From Hurt's column:
Back into our lives rode Sarah of Alaska, Maid of the Bering Sea, devoured, ogled and debated by the masses.
She is our modern Joan of Arc, dressed in black leather chaps, hunting camo or fishing boat slicker, unafraid to mount her steed, whether a Harley or a snow machine. She is a woman, bloody hands, capable of any man's task -- even that Holy Grail of politics with which no woman has ever been entrusted.
Unlike sister St. Joan, Sarah does not pass herself as a man. She can do any man's work, without ceding an ounce of her gas station pin-up babe good looks.
But in most else, she shares with sister St. Joan. Driven by visions from God and destined for sainthood by way of a burning at the stake, Sarah is misunderstood here in her own lifetime.
Maybe the story ends with her running a common-sense, intensely patriotic presidential campaign against an academic silk-stocking gasbag whose only apparent talent seems to be talking -- and even that hasn't been going so well lately.
And, if what we've got in the White House now is blue-chip educated, weepy liberal utopia, then whatever is the opposite of that we will take. And, at the moment, Sarah Palin fits that bill quite nicely.
If the liberals don't burn her at the stake first.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised, but the right wing has managed to find a way to attack President Obama for speaking at a military base on Veterans Day. The Drudge Report is hyping Charles Hurt's New York Post column, in which Hurt accuses Obama of being "AWOL on Vets Day." How was Obama AWOL, you ask? Well, because he celebrated the holiday at a U.S. military base in South Korea, rather than in the good ol' USA. You see, in Hurt's world, servicemen and women serving overseas apparently don't deserve the same respect as those stationed in the U.S.
Hurt wrote that Obama is "halfway around the world instead of being here in the United States to celebrate the sacrifices American soldiers, sailors and airmen have made around the world to keep the real, still-burning flame of freedom alive." While he acknowledged that "Obama honored our veterans from afar by laying a wreath during a ceremony at an Army base in South Korea last night," he nonetheless immediately attacked him for it, writing, "That is a distance from here matched only by the chasm that has opened up between him and the voters who elected him two years ago. This aloofness of his really is becoming a problem."
In fact, Obama did more that just "lay a wreath" -- he gave a speech honoring the troops and veterans on Veterans Day. He spoke of "honor[ing] every man and woman who has ever worn the uniform of the United States of America;" "salut[ing] fallen heroes, and keep[ing] in our prayers those who are still in harm's way -- like the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan;" and "recall[ing] acts of uncommon bravery and selflessness." But, no matter. He wasn't in the U.S. when he gave this speech.
Conservative media have falsely claimed that a motion filed by disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich indicating that Blagojevich and President Obama spoke on December 1, 2008, contradicts Obama's statements about his contacts with Blagojevich. Media have also falsely claimed that the motion states that Obama and Blagojevich discussed who Blagojevich would appoint to fill Obama's Senate seat.
Following the release of the House Democrats' health care reform bill, the leaders of the House Republican caucus repeatedly stressed the length and size of the bill during an October 29 press conference. Numerous media figures and outlets have followed in lockstep, with the Politico's Jonathan Allen asserting that the bill "comes out to about $2.24 million per word," and Sean Hannity claiming that "if you can't put this down in 30 pages or less, it proves that this is a complicated, you know, bunch of bureaucratic garbage."
The Drudge Report highlighted a New York Post article reporting the taxpayer cost of the Obamas' trip to New York City. But neither noted that such use of taxpayer funds for private travel by the first family is typical.
The New York Post's Charles Hurt asserted that Sen. Barack Obama "is ranked the most liberal member of the Senate based on his votes on issues," citing no evidence for his assertion. Many conservatives and media figures have repeated the National Journal's ranking of Obama as the "most liberal senator" for 2007 without noting the ranking's subjectivity.